People who know they have a need that only God can meet are the easiest people in the world to reach, because they want God’s power. Among the people in need who came to Jesus during His earthly ministry was a Roman centurion who wanted a touch from God. This man was in need, and he knew it. Matthew 8:5–6 kjv says, And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
We Must Recognize Our Need for Jesus
Now in those days, Romans considered their rulers to be divine, and they bowed their knee to Caesar as though he was a god. The only god the centurion knew was the man who led the Roman Empire. He didn’t know the invisible God that Jesus Christ had come to reveal. He didn’t know that Jesus had come down in the form of human flesh to show us what God is like. But when his servant was at the point of death, the centurion understood that Jesus was healing people just like him, and he felt he was welcome to come to Jesus Christ! Lots of people are embarrassed to admit their needs, and they won’t turn to God. But this Roman centurion did. When he came to Christ, he did the one thing that everyone should do: he fell upon his knees and said, “Lord.” He may never have called any man lord before, except Caesar. He may never have bowed his knee to anyone except his emperor. But in the face of his need, the centurion turned from Caesar to Christ and accepted Jesus as the Master or Lord over his servant’s sickness.
The Power of Respecting God’s Authority
When the centurion told Jesus about his sick servant, Jesus answered, I will come and heal him. And I believe He’s saying it now to us, just like He said it then. I will come. I will heal you. Notice the centurion’s response. He said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it (vv. 8–9). Here was a man whose life had been trained in the iron discipline of the army, a man who knew how to give and take orders. When the centurion received an order from his commanding officer, he obeyed it. When he gave a similar order, the men under him obeyed him. So when the centurion asked Christ to heal his servant, he didn’t ask Him to come to the army barracks where the man was ill.
As he understood power and authority, a physical visit was not necessary. In effect he told Jesus, “Lord, You have authority above all authority and power above all power. Simply speak the word and the disease will leave my servant’s body, and my man shall be raised up.” The Lord marveled and answered, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel (v.10).
Expect Sickness to Yield to God’s Authority
To receive healing, we have to respect and believe in God’s authority over sickness. Let me give you an example of authority in action. If you go out in your car and drive to an intersection where there is a great deal of traffic, you may find an officer of the law there with his hand up, taking charge over the stoplight. He has the authority to tell you whether to go or stop. He can make you stop on green and go on red, if he puts his hand up. That officer has authority and he knows it! And not only does he know it, but you and I know it too, and we all act accordingly. Have you ever noticed how your foot gets real light on the gas pedal of your car when you see a policeman? When you do that, you’re recognizing his authority. And when we come to God for the healing of our bodies, we must respond the same way, yielding to His authority over sickness. You see, if disease is in your body, it’s there as an outlaw. It’s an evil thing. It’s not of God. But God’s power can drive that outlaw disease out of your flesh. When you are seeking healing, you must come to God believing in His authority over anything in your body that’s wrong.
God Wants Us to Be Healthy
I believe God wants His people to be strong in their bodies. After all, how can you witness and work for the Lord unless you have strength in your body? How can you do your job and take care of your family if you’re sick? God wants to heal our bodies. Sickness is an outlaw, and we must come against it in faith. The centurion said, Speak the word. That became his point of contact the words of Jesus spoken in authority over the sickness. He said to Jesus, “Lord, if You’ll say the word, I’ll release my faith. I’ll believe God.”
Matthew 8:13 kjv tells us, Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour. In other words, the Lord said the word just as the centurion had asked. The centurion released his faith. And when he arrived at home, he found his servant healed just as he had asked. He enjoyed the results that come from reaching out in faith and receiving the authority Christ has over the outlaw called sickness and disease.I believe you and I can receive healing when we recognize God’s authority over sickness. Remember that His Word says He has given authority to us as believers. I encourage you to stand strong in your faith, believing as 1 John 5:4 says that our faith is the victory over what comes against us.